tv France 24 Mid- Day News LINKTV February 18, 2014 2:30pm-3:01pm PST
and you have shut it in our faces and in the face of god. dare you pretend, after what you have said that you are in a state of grace? if i am not, may god bring me to it, if i am, may god keep me in it. that is a very good reply, my lord. were you in a state of grace when you stole the archbishop's horse? oh, devil take the archbishop's horse and you too! we are here to try a case of heresy, and no sooner do we come to the root of the matter then we are thrown back by idiots who understand nothing but horses. gentlemen, gentlemen, in clinging to these small issues you are the maid's best advocates. i am not surprised his lordship has lost patience with you. what does the promoter say? does he press these trumpery matters? i am bound by my office to press everything, but i share the impatience of his lordship as to these minor charges. only, with great respect, i must emphasize
the gravity of two very horrible and blasphemous crimes which she does not deny. first, she communicates with evil spirits and is therefore a sorceress. second, she wears men's clothes, which is indecent, unnatural, and abominable. and in spite of our most earnest remonstrances and entreaties, she will not change them even to receive the sacrament. is the blessed st. catherine an evil spirit? is st. margaret? is michael the archangel? how do you know that the spirit which appears to you is an archangel? does he not appear to you as a naked man? do you think god cannot afford clothes for him? [laughter] well answered, joan. it is, in effect, well answered. but no evil spirit would be so simple as to appear to a young girl in a guise that would scandalize her when he meant her to take him for a messenger from the most high.
joan, the church instructs you that these apparitions are demons seeking your soul's perdition. do you accept the instruction of the church? i accept the messenger of god. how could any faithful believer in the church refuse him? wretched woman, again i ask you, do you know what you are saying? you wrestle in vain with the devil for her soul, my lord. she will not be saved. now, touching the matter of this man's dress, for the last time, will you put off that impudent attire and dress as becomes your sex? i will not. the sin of disobedience, my lord. but my voices tell me that i must dress as a soldier. joan, joan, does that not prove to you that the voices are the voices of evil spirits? can you suggest to us one good reason
why an angel of god should give you such shameful advice? why, yes. what could be plainer commonsense? i was a soldier living among soldiers. i am a prisoner guarded by soldiers. if i dress as a woman they will think of me as a woman, and then what will become of me? if i dress as a soldier they think of me as a soldier, and i can live with them as i do at home with my brothers. that is why st. catherine tells me that i must not dress as a woman until she gives me leave. when will she give you leave? when you take me out of the hands of the english soldiers. i have told you that i should be in the hands of the church, and not left night and day with four soldiers of the earl of warwick. do you want me to live with them in petticoats? my lord, what she says is, god knows, very wrong and shocking, but there is a grain of worldly sense in it such as might impose on a simple village maiden.
if we were as simple in the villages as you are in your courts and palaces, there would soon be no wheat to make bread for you. try to resist the temptation to make pert replies to us. do you see that man who stands behind you? your torturer. but the bishop said i was not to be tortured. you are not to be tortured because you have confessed everything that is necessary to your condemnation. that man is not only the torturer, he is also the executioner. executioner, let the maid hear your answers to my questions. are you prepared for the burning of a heretic this day? yes, master. is the stake ready? it is, in the marketplace, but the english have built it too high for me to get near her and make it easier.
it will be a cruel death. you are not going to burn me now? you realize it at last. there are 800 english soldiers waiting to take you to the marketplace. the moment the sentence of excommunication has passed the lips of your judges, you are within a few short moments of that doom. oh, god... do not despair, joan. the church is merciful. you can save yourself. yes, my voices promised me i should not be burned. st. catherine bade me be bold. woman, are you quite mad? do you not yet see that your voices have deceived you? oh, no. that is impossible. impossible! they have led you straight to your excommunication, and to the stake, which is there waiting for you. have they kept a single promise to you since you were taken at compiegne? the devil has betrayed you.
the church holds out its arms to you. oh, it is true... it is true. my voices have deceived me. i have been mocked by devils, my faith is broken. i have dared and dared, but only a fool would walk into a fire. god, who gave me my commonsense, cannot will me to do that. now god be praised that he has saved you at the eleventh hour. amen. what must i do? you must sign a solemn recantation of your heresy. sign? that means write my name. i cannot write.
you have signed many letters before. yes, but somebody held my hand and guided the pen. i can make my mark. my lord, do you mean that you are going to allow this woman to escape us? the law must be respected, master de stogumber, even by the english, and you know the law. i know that there is no faith in a frenchman. i know what my lord, the cardinal of winchester will say when he hears of this. i know what the earl of warwick will do when he learns that you intend to betray him. there are 800 men at the gate who will see that this abominable witch is burned in spite of your teeth. my lord-- silence, gentlemen pray silence! master chaplain, bethink you of your holy office, of what you are and where you are. i direct you to sit down. i will not sit down. master inquisitor, this man has called me a traitor to my face before now.
so you are a traitor. you are all traitors. you have been doing nothing but begging this damnable witch on your knees to recant all through this trial! if you will not sit, then you must stand, that is all. i will not stand. my lord, here is the form of recantation for the maid to sign. read it to her. do not trouble. i will sign it. woman, you must know what you are putting your hand to. read it to her, brother martin. and let all be silent. i, joan, commonly called the maid, a miserable sinner, do confess that i have most grievously sinned in the following articles. i have pretended to have revelations from god and the angels and the blessed saints, and perversely rejected the church's warnings that these were temptations by demons.
i have blasphemed abominably by wearing an immodest dress, contrary to the holy scripture and the canons of the church. also, i have clipped my hair in the style of a man. and against all the duties which have made my sex especially acceptable in heaven, have taken up the sword, even to the shedding of human blood and inciting men to slay each other. all of which sins i now renounce and abjure and depart from, humbly thanking you doctors and masters who have brought me back to the truth and into the grace of our lord. and i will never return to my errors, but will remain in communion with our holy church and in obedience to our holy father, the pope of rome. all this i swear by god almighty and the holy gospels, in witness whereto i sign my name to this recantation. do you understand this, joan? it is plain enough.
there. praise be to god, my brothers, the lamb has returned to the flock, and the church rejoices in her more than in ninety and nine just persons. we declare thee, by this act, set free from the danger of excommunication in which thou stoodest. i thank you. but because thou has sinned most presumptuously against god and his holy church, and that thou mayst repent thy errors in solitary contemplation, shielded from all danger of temptation to return to them, we, for the good of thy soul,
and for a penance that may wipe out thy sin and bring thee finally unspotted to the throne of grace, do condemn thee to eat the bread of sorrow and drink the waters of affliction to the end of thy earthly days in perpetual imprisonment. perpetual imprisonment. am i not then to be set free? set free, child, after such wickedness as yours? what are you dreaming of? give me that writing. light your fire. do you think i dread it as much as the life of a rat in a hole?
my voices were right. joan! joan! yes, they told me you were fools and i was not to listen to your fine words nor trust to your charity. you promised me my life, but you lied! you think that life is nothing but not being stone dead? it is not the bread and water i fear. bread has no sorrow for me and water no affliction. but to shut me from the light of the sky and the sight of the fields and flowers, to chain my feet so that i can never again ride with the soldiers nor climb the hill,
to make me breathe foul damp darkness, and to keep from me everything that brings me back to the love of god when your wickedness and foolishness tempt me to hate him. all this is worse than the furnace in the bible that was heated seven times. i could do without my warhorse, i could drag about in a skirt, i could let the banners and the trumpets and the knights and the soldiers pass me and leave me behind as they leave the other women, if only i could hear the wind in the trees, the larks in the sunshine,
the young lambs playing in the healthy frost and the blessed, blessed church bells that send my angel voices floating to me on the wind. but without these things i cannot live, and by your wanting to take them away from me or from any human creature, i know that your counsel is of the devil, and that mine is of god. she is a relapsed heretic, obstinate, incorrigible, and altogether unworthy of the mercy we have shown her. i call for her excommunication. light your fire, man. to the stake with her. you wicked girl. if your counsel were of god, would he not deliver you? his ways are not your ways.
he wills that i go through the fire to his bosom, for i am his child, and you are not fit that i should live among you. that is my last word to you. we decree that thou art a relapsed heretic. cut off from the unity of the church. sundered from her body. infected with the leprosy of heresy. a member of satan. we declare thee to be excommunicate. and now we do cast thee out, segregate thee, and abandon thee to the secular power. admonishing that same secular power that it moderates its judgment of thee in respect of death and division of the limbs. and if any true sign of penitence appear in thee,
to permit our brother martin to administer to thee the sacrament of penance. [commotion] the representative of the secular arm should be here to receive her from us. brother martin, see that all is done in order. my place is at her side, my lord. you must exercise your own authority. these english are impossible. they will thrust her straight into the fire. we must stop that. yes, but not too fast, my lord. not a moment to lose. we have proceeded in perfect order.
if the english choose to put themselves in the wrong, it is not for us to put them in the right. a flaw in the procedure may be useful later on, one never knows. meanwhile, the sooner it is over, the better for that poor girl. yes, that is true. i suppose we must see this dreadful business through. one gets used to it. habit is everything. i am accustomed to the fire, it is soon over. but it is a terrible thing to see a young and innocent creature crushed between these mighty forces, the church and the law. what, you call her innocent? oh, quite innocent. what does she know of the church and the law? she did not understand a word of what we were saying. it is the ignorant who suffer. come, or we shall be late for the end.
i shall not be sorry if we are. i'm not so accustomed as you. oh, i am intruding. i thought it was all over. do not go, my lord warwick. it is all over. the execution is not in our hands, my lord, but it is desirable that we witness the end. so by your leave... there is some doubt, my lord, that you english have observed the forms of law. i am told that there is some doubt whether your authority runs in this city, my lord. it is not in your diocese. however, if you will answer for that, i will answer for the rest.
it is to god we both must answer. good morning, my lord. my lord, good morning. [clears throat] well, fellow, who are you? i am not addressed as fellow, my lord. i am the master executioner of rouen, a highly skilled mystery. i am come to tell your lordship that your orders have been obeyed. i crave your pardon, master executioner, and i will see that you lose nothing by having no relics to sell.
i have your word, have i, that nothing remains, not a bone, not a nail, not a hair? her heart would not burn, but everything else that was left is at the bottom of the river. you've heard the last of her. hmph! the last of her, i wonder! [snoring] [murmuring] [knock on door] come in. [laughter] why this mirth, gentlemen?
i congratulate you on having invented an extraordinarily comic dress. why, i do not understand. you are all in fancy dress. i am properly dressed. all dress is fancy dress, is it not, except our natural skins? pardon me, i'm here on serious business and cannot engage in frivolous discussion. i am sent to announce that, um... now, "joan of arc, formerly known as the maid, "having been the subject of an inquiry instituted by the bishop of orleans"-- oh, they remember me still at orleans. "by the bishop of orleans "into the claim of the said joan of arc to be canonized as a saint"-- but i never made any such claim. "the church has finally declared her "to have been endowed with heroic virtues "and favored with private revelations,
"and calls the said venerable and blessed joan to the communion of the church triumphant as saint joan." saint joan. "in basilica vaticana, the sixteenth day of may 1920." half an hour to burn you, dear saint, and four centuries to find out the truth about you. though men destroyed my body, yet in my soul i have seen god. the girls in the field praise thee, for thou hast raised their eyes, and they see there is nothing between them and heaven. the dying soldiers praise thee, for thou art a shield of honor between them and the judgment. the princes of the church praise thee, because thou hast redeemed the faith their worldliness has dragged through the mire. the cunning counselors praise thee, because thou hast cut the knot in which they have tied their own souls.
the foolish old men on their deathbeds praise thee, because thou has turned their sins into blessing. the judges in the blindness and bondage of the law praise thee, for thou hast vindicated the vision and freedom of the living soul. the wicked out of hell praise thee, because thou hast shown them that the fire that cannot be quenched is a holy fire. the torturers and executioners praise thee, for thou hast shown that their hands are guiltless of the death of the soul. the unpretending praise thee, because thou hast taken upon thyself the heroic burdens that are too heavy for them. [choir singing] woe unto me when all men praise me.
i bid you remember that i am a saint, and that saints can work miracles. and now tell me, shall i rise from the dead and come back to you a living woman? oh, no. what? must i burn again? are none of you ready to receive me? the heretic is always better dead. and mortal eyes cannot distinguish between the saint and the heretic. spare them. forgive us, joan. we are not yet good enough for you. i must go back to my bed. we sincerely regret our little mistake, but political necessities, although occasionally erroneous, are still imperative, so if you will be good enough to excuse me... your return would not make me the man you thought me. the utmost i can hope is that while i dare not bless you, i may one day enter into your blessedness.
meanwhile, however... i who am of the dead, testified that day that you were innocent. but i do not see how the inquisition could be dispensed with in existing circumstances. therefore... oh, do not come back. you must not come back. i must die in peace. oh, give us peace in our time, o lord. the possibility of your resurrection was not contemplated in the recent proceedings for your canonization. i must return to rome for further instructions. as master of my profession i must consider its interest. after all, my first duty is to my wife and family. no, i must think this over. poor old joan.
they've all run away from you, except for this blackguard who has to go back to hell at 12 o'clock. and what can i do, but follow jack dunois' example and go back to bed too. good night, charlie. good night. and you, my one faithful, what comfort have you for saint joan? well, what do they all amount to, these kings and captains and bishops and lawyers and such like? they just leave you in the ditch to bleed to death, and the next thing is you meet them down there, for all the airs they give themselves. what i say is, you've got as good a right to your notions as they have to theirs, and perhaps better. you see, it's like this, if... [bell tolls] excuse me, pressing appointment.
o god that madest this beautiful earth, when will it be ready to receive thy saints? how long, o lord, how long? shaw wrote of joan, "it is hardly surprising that she was judicially burned, "ostensibly for a number of capital crimes "which we no longer punish as such, "but essentially for what we call unwomanly and insufferable presumption." then he added, "as her actual condition was pure upstart, "there were only two opinions about her. "one was that she was miraculous, the other that she was unbearable." this was a co-production of miami-dade community college and british broadcasting corporation british open university.